A nice way to appreciate the delicacy of seafood—from the preparation, textures and flavors—is to indulge in a dish of Nantucket Bay Scallops. Bringing the “gold standard” of scallops into the kitchen may seem daunting, but it’s easier than it seems, especially when you learn the tips and tricks from seafood master Joe Gurrera.
Gurrera is the owner and founding fishmonger of New York’s gourmet food market Citarella, and he wants chefs and home cooks to bring seafood into their kitchen with confidence. In his cookbook Joe Knows Fish, he teaches the basics of selection, preparation and how to best serve a variety of seafood dishes. Focusing on fast and simple preparation, his recipes will become a staple in your kitchen.
Today, he shares with our readers his simple recipe for sauteed Nantucket Bay scallops recipe. These are the most coveted of all the Atlantic scallops, because the small bites pack a punch of flavor, and they’re only in season for a short time from November through March.
Some home cooks may see scallops as a restaurant-only dish, but this simple recipe only takes a little more than one minute.
“These don't take a long time to cook, this is like 90 seconds, at the most,” Guerrera says. “When you're cooking something like this, timing is very crucial. Whatever you do, please dont answer your cell phone.”
This quick and easy recipe feeds four and will be the gateway to your newfound love of scallops. Just make sure you buy your scallops in season, and enjoy!
Sautéed Nantucket Bay Scallops
2 pounds raw Nantucket bay scallops
Sea salt to taste
1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and season them with salt.
In a medium sauté pan over high heat, warm the olive oil until it starts to shimmer.
Briefly shake the pan as you add the scallops. The friction from the scallops moving in the pan will prevent them from sticking. At this point, don’t touch them; let them sear and caramelize to golden brown, about 2 minutes total.
Grab Joe Gurerra’s book Joe Knows Fish to learn more straightforward and delicious seafood tips, tricks and recipes.